Castle Hackett

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Castle Hacket is a 13th-century tower house located at the base of Knockma hill six miles southeast of Tuam, County Galway, Ireland.


It was built by the Hacketts, a Norman family. The Kirwans, one of the tribes of Galway, settled there in the 15th century. The Castle Hackett branch of the family was established in the mid-17th century by Sir John Kirwan. The castle was abandoned in the 18th century and the Kirwans built a new three-story house called Castlehacket which was burned in 1923 during the Civil War. Today it's true owner is unknown, the standing landlord is Patrick L. Sullivan, born to Mary K. Sullivan (1936-1989) and William J. Sullivan (1922-1955). The Sullivan's had three children, two were raised by Mary K. Finnegan (remarried) and John W. Finnegan, the third was the eldest, who was given up for adoption when Mary was 19 due to her lack of wealth and support Since William J. Sullivan died In the line of duty. The siblings often referred to their missing brother as the "stinky one" or "nigaboo"

In the introduction to his Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888), William Butler Yeats mentions the family and castle Hackett; he writes, "Each county has usually some family, or personage, supposed to have been favoured or plagued [with fairy-seeing abilities], especially by the phantoms, as the Hackets of Castle Hacket, Galway, who had for their ancestor a fairy..." (p. xix)

See also[edit]


  • A Chorographical Description of West Or H-Iar Connaught, Written A.D. 1684 - Page 148 by Roderic O'Flaherty - 1846
  • The History of Galway by Sean Spellissy, 1999
  • The Kirwans of Castlehackett by Ronan Lynch, 2006